WASHINGTON — NASA has announced program office assignments at three NASA field centers to align the president’s fiscal year 2012 budget request and the NASA Authorization Act of 2010. The agency also has released three Space Technology Program solicitations. NASA will create new program offices to manage human spaceflight activities associated with the development of the Space Launch System, the heavy-lift rocket that will carry humans beyond low Earth orbit; the Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle, the next human exploration spacecraft; and commercial spaceflight vehicles.
“NASA is moving forward to aggressively implement the bi-partisan direction the President and Congress have given us, and these program offices will help us carry out this important mission,” NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said. “The United States continues its leadership role in human spaceflight and these moves will ensure this continues for many years to come.”
NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston will host a program office responsible for developing the Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle. Johnson also will continue to lead the way in human research to enable exploration beyond low Earth orbit. This research heavily leverages the International Space Station. In addition, the center will be critical to efforts to facilitate commercial access to low Earth orbit.
NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida will lead the way in enabling commercial human spaceflight capabilities and host a program office dedicated to that work. Kennedy will continue to provide launch services to both science missions and commercial crew providers. The Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., will lead NASA’s efforts on a heavy- lift rocket that will carry humans beyond low Earth orbit. The center will house the program office for the Space Launch System and continue to support station operations.
NASA also released three Space Technology Program solicitations Tuesday as part of the agency’s efforts to develop innovative solutions to enable future exploration and science missions and lower the cost of other government and commercial space activities.
“These solicitations for innovative research and technology development, from their earliest stages through maturation and testing in flight, will provide new knowledge and capabilities for our future missions,” NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver said. “Technological leadership is how the United States is going to out-innovate, out-educate and out-build the rest of the world.”
The NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts program seeks transformative ideas to enable new aeronautics and space systems capabilities. NASA’s Game Changing Development Program is soliciting proposals for research and technology development for revolutionary improvements in America’s space capabilities. NASA also is seeking Technology Demonstration Mission proposals in four areas: high-bandwidth deep space communication, navigation and timing; orbital debris mitigation or removal systems; advanced in-space propulsion systems; and autonomous rendezvous, docking, close proximity operations and formation flying.
The programs are managed by NASA’s Office of the Chief Technologist consistent with provisions of the Authorization Act of 2010. NASA seeks proposals for all three solicitations that align with the agency’s Space Technology Roadmaps and NASA’s Grand Challenges. Awards are contingent on availability of fiscal year 2011 appropriations.
For more information about the solicitations, including how to submit applications, visit the “open solicitations” area of: http://nspires.nasaprs.com/
For more details on the agency’s fiscal year 2012 budget, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/budget
To learn more about NASA’s Office of the Chief Technologist and future innovative technology research and development, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/oct